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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Published: October 1, 2013
Family Violence Prevention and Services (FVPSA)

Domestic Violence Awareness MonthOctober is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), which is a time to honor victims and raise awareness about the devastating impact of domestic violence. On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men.[1] Violence, abuse, and trauma touches the lives of people of all ages, leaving a devastating impact on women, men, and children of every background and circumstance. Since National DVAM began in 1981, awareness activities have focused on three main themes:

  1. Mourn those that have died from domestic violence
  2. Celebrate those who have survived
  3. Connect those working to end domestic violence

The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence’s Domestic Violence Awareness Project (DVAP) supports the rights of all individuals, especially women and girls, to live in peace and dignity. Violence and all other forms of oppression against all communities and families must be eliminated. The purpose of the DVAP is to support and promote national, tribal, territorial, state, and local advocacy networks in their ongoing public education efforts through public awareness, strategies, materials, resources, capacity-building, and technical assistance.  To support the National Domestic Violence Awareness Project, click here.

The National Domestic Violence Awareness Project website was redesigned and provides a variety of teaching tools, sample forms and templates, media related publications, webinars and audio recordings, and artwork files. It also includes a history of DVAM, various campaign ideas with instructional handouts for event replication, an online store to purchase awareness materials, and a searchable events database that allows advocates to share their events.

National Domestic Violence Victim Resources

Each year the National Domestic Violence Hotline receives more than 23,500 calls per month from victims, survivors, friends and family members, law enforcement personnel, domestic violence advocates and the general public. Caring and well-trained crisis intervention advocates provide help with safety planning assistance, referrals to local programs, and access to interpreters that speak over 170 different languages.  The Hotline also provides a wide range of easy to download resources including brochures, palm cards, flyers, power & control wheels and domestic violence awareness campaign signs. To access the National Domestic Violence Hotline resource materials, click here.

All calls to the Hotline are free and confidential help is available for victims of domestic violence 24 hours a day, including holidays. If you need help or just want someone to talk to, these national resources can help victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault find support and assistance in their communities:

  1. National Domestic Violence Hotline  - 1-800-799-7233; TTY 1-800-787-3224
  2. National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline - 1-866-331-9474; TTY 1-866-331-8453; text “loveis” to 77054; live chat at www.loveisrespect.org
  3. National Sexual Assault Hotline (RAINN) - 1-800-656-4673; secure, online private chat: https://ohl.rainn.org/online

Learn More About Domestic Violence

Federal Resources

There are many national, state, tribal, and local domestic violence resources made available through the support of the Federal Government.  A listing of those resources is provided below.

Family Violence Prevention and Services Program, HHS

The Family Violence Prevention and Services Program provides the primary funding dedicated to the support of immediate shelter and supportive services for victims of family violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and their dependents. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Program supports local programs, state agencies, Native American Tribes and Alaskan Native Villages operating shelters that provide temporary housing, crisis counselling, information and referral, legal service  and advocacy, transportation, emergency child care, and health care referrals.

The Family Violence Prevention and Services Program also supports a national network of domestic violence resource centers and culturally-specific institutes addressing domestic violence, as well as the National Domestic Violence Hotline. To learn more, click here.

Office on Violence Against Women, DOJ

The Office on Violence Against Women supports local and state-wide domestic violence programs, policies, and practices in communities across the country aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Please click here to access national resources supported by the Office on Violence Against Women.

Office for Victims of Crime, DOJ

The mission of the Office for Victims of Crime is to enhance the Nation's capacity to assist crime victims by providing leadership and funding on their behalf. This office administers Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding to state agencies within the United States and U.S. territories, has established compensation programs to reimburse crime victims, and assistance programs to offer victim services. Please click here to access national resources supported by the Office for Victims of Crime.

Office on Women’s Health, HHS

The mission of the Office on Women's Health (OWH) is to provide leadership to promote health equity for women and girls through sex/gender-specific approaches. The OWH works to develop innovative programs by educating health professionals and motivating behavior change in consumers through the sharing of health information. The OWH also works to eliminate violence against women and girls  in the United States and abroad. Please click here to access resources supported by the Office on Women’s Health.

[1] Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M.R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf